Fired Google Memo Author To Explore Legal Action Against Company

Google engineer James Damore, who penned the now-viral memo on Google’s intolerance of conservative viewpoints, has been fired from his job and plans to explore legal action against the company. He was allegedly fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.”

Damore recommended that tech hubs like Google: 1) stop demoralizing diversity, 2) stop alienating conservatives, 3) to confront Google’s bias, 4) to “stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders or races,” 5) to “have an open and honest discussion about the costs and benefits of our diversity programs,” 6) to also focus on “psychological safety, not just race/gender diversity,” 7) to de-emphasize empathy, 8) to prioritize intention, 9) to embrace the science of human nature, and 10) “reconsider  making Unconscious Bias training mandatory for promo committees.”

Here’s the gist of his memo:

  • Google’s political bias has equated the freedom from offense with psychological safety, but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety.
  • This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed.
  • The lack of discussion fosters the most extreme and authoritarian elements of this ideology.
  • Extreme: all disparities in representation are due to oppression
  • Authoritarian: we should discriminate to correct for this oppression
  • Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don’t have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership. Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.

And here’s the “contentious” portion about women in tech. (Warning: it’s not offensive)

Women, on average, have more:

  • Openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men (also interpreted as empathizing vs. systemizing).
  • These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas. More men may like coding because it requires systemizing and even within SWEs, comparatively more women work on front end, which deals with both people and aesthetics.
  • Extraversion expressed as gregariousness rather than assertiveness. Also, higher agreeableness.
  • This leads to women generally having a harder time negotiating salary, asking for raises, speaking up, and leading. Note that these are just average differences and there’s overlap between men and women, but this is seen solely as a women’s issue. This leads to exclusory programs like Stretch and swaths of men without support.
  • Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance).This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs.

In response to Damore’s memo, Google’s vice president of diversity, Danielle Brown, sent a memo asserting the engineer’s essay “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender”. But that will not help the case against Google, who is currently the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor for allegedly paying women less than men– a claim the company has since denied.

Experts say Damore doesn’t have much of a case against his former employer, but that remains to be seen. As I wrote on Facebook this morning, it’s imperative for more conservatives and libertarians to enter the tech realm and offer some creative disruption in that industry. It’s needed now more than ever.

Jim DeMint Launches Conservative Partnership Institute to Make DC Listen

In addition to working for the Convention of States, former Heritage Foundation president and U.S. Senator from South Carolina Jim DeMint has started another group:  the Conservative Partnership Institute. The goal of the group is to create a “support system” to ensure up-and-coming conservative lawmakers arriving in Washington, D.C., stick to principles.

DeMint will be joined by a “team of experienced Capitol Hill veterans who have fought and beaten back the Washington establishment,” the website adds.

Axois explains more on CPI’s leadership:

  • He’s [DeMint’s] recruited a small team of experienced movement conservatives — including Heritage alums Ed Corrigan, Wesley Denton, and Rachel Bovard.
  • Corrigan, who will be CPI’s executive director, is impeccably connected in the movement, on the Hill and inside the Trump Administration. He’s well-placed to build a “job pool” for conservative members as he’s just come off the Trump transition, where he helped fill hundreds of jobs in the administration.

Per CPI’s mission statement, they are “dedicated to providing a platform for citizen leaders, the conservative movement, Members of Congress, congressional staff and scholars to be connected.” CPI will also provide “leaders with the tools, tactics, resources and strategies to help make them successful in advancing conservative policy solutions.”

The group was created to combat the complacency Republicans adopt — with few exceptions — when they come here to Washington, D.C. Conservatives, it argues, are susceptible to becoming creatures of the Swamp because they are “surrounded by enormous institutional and media pressures to bend to the status quo of big government.”

Our Editor-in-Chief Erick Erickson applauded this announcement on social media:

We knew Jim DeMint wouldn’t be deterred after being forcibly removed from Heritage Foundation earlier this summer. It will be interesting to see what this group accomplishes. If it’s modeled like Senate Conservatives Fund, another pet project of DeMint, it’ll do exceedingly well in influencing policy here in the nation’s capital.

Republicans and Conservatives are at Odds Over Taxes in Obamacare Replacement Bill

In 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016, the American people elected Republicans to Congress with a clear mandate: repeal and replace Obamacare. Yet somehow the GOP has managed to do little more than propose watered-down versions of the health care legislation that citizens so desperately want replaced.

As the Senate hammers out their version of Obamacare replacement, there’s one sticking point that is making the negotiations more difficult – taxes.

Specifically, senators are divided over the inclusion of Obamacare’s 3.8 percent net investment income tax. Conservatives want the tax repealed, while more moderate Republicans are fine with keeping the tax as a way to help fund health care for those with lower incomes.

Some in the Senate emphasize the importance of keeping the tax embedded in the new legislation:

“We [want to] address the issue of ensuring lower-income citizens are in a position to buy plans that are actually provide them appropriate healthcare,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) told reporters last week.

While other members of Congress understand a need to keep the tax in place whether they like it or not.

“Our official position is we want to repeal all the taxes. That being said, we understand the logistics of having to have enough revenue,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said. “And so I’m not at this point closing that off to negotiations because I think it would be premature to do that.”

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told his constituents in a telephone town hall last week that he’s “personally not opposed” to keeping ObamaCare taxes to pay for health benefits.

On the other end of the spectrum are taxpayer advocacy groups who are adamantly opposed to the tax remaining in any GOP replacement.

“Cutting the capital gains tax gets you growth,” said Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist. He called keeping the investment tax an “economically illiterate bad idea.”

Taxpayers Protection Alliance President David Williams said that failing to repeal the investment tax would cause investors to delay selling assets and would “discourage more entry into the stock market.”

So many questions remain. Can the GOP create a replacement that will keep taxes low while still allowing the poor to have more options? Will they proceed with or without the tax in place? Will they scrap Obamacare altogether and create something new? Is a free market solution possible at this point?

But the biggest question of all that is yet to be answered is this one: will the Republicans keep the promises they’ve made to the voters time and time again to repeal and replace Barack Obama’s signature domestic accomplishment?

Jim DeMint Joins Convention of States to Reinvigorate Tea Party Movement

Past Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint now has a new role with the Convention of States Project.

DeMint, who was ousted from Heritage Foundation last month, will serve as the senior advisor to the group–which is said to be the fastest growing right-leaning cause. USA Today was the first to break this news on Monday.

“The Tea Party needs a new mission,” DeMint told USA TODAY. “They realize that all the work they did in 2010 has not resulted in all the things they hoped for. Many of them are turning to Article V.”

In the organization’s press release, DeMint had this to say about his involvement in the group:

“I tried to rein in Washington from the House and Senate, but once I realized that Washington will never willingly return decision-making power back to the American people and the states, I began to search for another way to restrain the federal government,” said DeMint. “I am excited to get outside the beltway and work with the grassroots of the Convention of States Project to continue the fight I started almost two decades ago.”

“The time is now for bold action to save America, and Jim DeMint knows how to fight the opposition to do what is best for Nation and the People,” said Mark Meckler, Co-founder of the Convention of States Project. “He is a principled legislative leader and a friend of the grassroots, which makes his addition to the Convention of States Project a natural fit.”

The former U.S. Congressman and U.S. Senator from the Palmetto State launched the Senate Conservative Fund, which helped give rise to lawmakers like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and a whole host of others.

The organization’s goal — as laid out by their 501(c)4 group Convention of States Action– is to “urge and empower state legislators to call a convention of states. Delegates to the convention will have power to propose amendments to the Constitution that would curb the abuses of the federal government. Article V of the Constitution gives them this power; the COS Project will give them an avenue through which they can use it.” Here’s Article V of the Constitution:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Conservatives have a mixed view of this movement. Those who aren’t as skeptical include Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, American economist Thomas Sowell, Sheriff David Clarke, Lt. Bill Cowan, historian David Barton, Ben Carson, M.D., Ken Cuccinelli, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ron Johnson, retired U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, retired U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan, former Gov. Jeb Bush, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Gov. Sarah Palin, Gov. John Kasich, former Gov. Bobby Jindal, Gov. Greg Abbot, and Col. Allen West.

It’s good to see Jim DeMint back in the saddle again. It would be a waste to see him sitting in the sidelines.

We Have Entered “The Masks”

Conservatives have entered “The Masks,” which is episode 25 of season 5 of The Twilight Zone. In that episode, a man named Jason Foster demands his children wear masks for Mardi Gras. The masks are grotesque, depicting cowardice on one face, greed on another, buffoonery on another, and death on the father’s.

At midnight, as Jason Foster dies, his children take off their masks only to realize their faces have become the masks. Those masks revealed the true nature of the children and they are now conformed to the masks.

This episode is a great metaphor for much of the right these days. A lot of them publicly talk about Christian charity, grace, forgiveness, and being happy warriors, but have taken on the worst characteristics of the left.

They have decided the left has won by cheating, being shrill, being in people’s faces, and showing no grace or forgiveness. So they will do the same. They’ll take on the characteristics of their opponents they loathe in the name of winning.

Kathy Griffin, a D-list comedienne, in order to get attention in a social media age that demands constant buzz, participated in a photo shoot showing a decapitated President Trump. It was vile and in terrible taste. People demanded she apologize. She did.

Then many of those who demanded she apologize refused to take the apology because, though they demanded it, she did not apologize directly to the President. They decided to show no grace and many pointed out that the left would never do that, so why should they?

Friends, two points here.

First, if you cannot forgive someone, you are claiming that your conscience has been more pricked that Christ’s. He was an innocent found guilty, beaten, tortured, and nailed to a cross, but he chose to forgive. And you can’t forgive? Let that person keep on controlling you, then. An inability to forgive only allows the other person to control you and stay in your head.

Second, I’m Heaven bound. I don’t intend to behave like the lost, the damned, and the non-believer. I have no intention of behaving like those whose behavior appalls me and I cannot understand why you would do the same. You think that behavior has caused them to be winners? I can’t wait to hear you explain that one to your Lord on Judgment Day.

Social media is a terrible thing growing more terrible every day. It fuels the need for celebrities to go to great and often offensive lengths to get attention. It turns on its users and condemns them, ginning up social media outrage mobs. It gives all of us incentive to act out and behave badly. Social media encourages revelry in sin, herd mentalities, group think, and the abandonment of grace.

Take off the mask of those you hate before it is too late.

Finally: Bill Nye Shoves His Credibility Through a Wood Chipper

Despite the predictable perversion, despite the embarrassing attempts to gain street cred amongst the millennials he used to dazzle with science experiments, despite his dangerous misinformation about gender and sexuality that is exploiting confused and sick people for political gain, despite the inexplicable conundrum of how people like this get TV shows when there are so many other more talented and deserving folks in the world, count me as one person thrilled that Bill Nye Saves the World is now airing on Netflix.

No, I couldn’t watch more than just a few short clips of the panel discussion where his experts pontificated about punishing Americans for child-bearing. And yes, Bill’s ham-handed attempt to inspire and entertain made for such a spectacle of buffoonery that it no doubt made even Nye’s most adoring fans uncomfortable. And obviously, the disgusting and awkward gyrations of some woman named Rachel Bloom singing about her “sex junk” while a DJ dressed up like a seahorse (seriously) bounced around the side of the stage was equal parts bizarre and gross.

But I am sincerely ecstatic that all this is airing for people to see and mock. Because maybe, just maybe, Bill Nye will finally lose the intellectual credibility that he has always received but never deserved.

A year ago, Weather Channel founder John Coleman fumed to the weather site Climate Depot:

“I have always been amazed that anyone would pay attention to Bill Nye, a pretend scientist in a bow tie.”

On the surface that could come off as sour grapes or petty jealousy. Calling a colleague a “pretend scientist in a bow tie” could be regarded as professionally tacky, until you realize that Bill Nye is not Coleman’s colleague. He actually is a pretend scientist who wears a bow tie.

Yes, Nye earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Yes, he worked for Boeing for a short period of time. But after that, Nye won a contest impersonating comedian Steve Martin and used that as a springboard to launch a career in comedy. Following a lackluster few years in the business, Nye landed his renowned gig as a knock-off Mr. Wizard on the PBS Kids program, “Bill Nye the Science Guy.”

In other words, Bill Nye was and is a performer. He’s built a nice career as a performer, and while no one should deny him that success, neither should they confuse what he does with science. And that was Coleman’s point:

“As a man who has studied the science of meteorology for over 60 years and received the AMS (American Meteorological Society’s) ‘Meteorologist of the Year’ award, I am totally offended that Nye gets the press and media attention he does.”

You can understand his frustration. Nye consistently gets “science” wrong.

  • He says that tornadoes are an indication of more severe weather coming because of the very real problem of climate change. Science proves that the frequency of violent tornadoes has decreased.
  • He seemingly coined the bizarre term “Sou’wester” for West Coast weather patterns, equating it with the East Coast’s “Nor’easters.” Science rejects any notion of there being anything like a “Sou’wester.”
  • He actively promotes the silencing and imprisonment of those scientists who would disagree with his position on climate. Science demands open-mindedness and a humility towards ideas, theories, and beliefs.

Nye is a cartoonish performer with dangerous tendencies towards political authoritarianism. Confusing that with being a scientist is a mistake that sane people will no longer tolerate.

Conservative Overreaction Shouldn’t Exist

The other day, MSNBC host Chris Hayes suggested conservatism has become about victimhood and grievance. I think that is laughably not true and that grievance thrives in liberal ideology that pushes identity politics and speaks in the language of privilege. The leftwing chatter about “privilege” is founded on victimhood and grievance. Conservatives tend not to go there. The entire “social justice warrior” schtick on the left is about victimization and grievance and Hayes is engaging in projection.

One area where a lot of conservatives are tending to go, however, is overreaction to things the left is doing. Instead of considering the action on the merits, the immediately reaction is it is terrible. To be fair, in many cases that is justified. But occasionally an action started by the left winds up not being terrible, but is something people can unite behind.

A case in point is the destruction of the Liberty Monument in New Orleans. There has long been an inert, bipartisan effort to tear it down, but it gained steam in the last few years of social justice warrior nonsense. The Mayor of New Orleans has targeted a series of civil war monuments to Robert E. Lee and others that I think the city would be wise to preserve. But there is wide spread consensus in New Orleans to tear down the Liberty Monument.

As I explained here, the monument celebrates an attempted violent coup by the Democratic Party in Louisiana in the post-civil war South. An actual paramilitary unit funded by a political party tried to oust a bi-racial, lawfully elected government. They were unsuccessful, but after Reconstruction they came to power and rewrote history to claim the monument was about taking back government from usurpers. Who usurped power? Well, in their mind, black voters who they still believed should have no rights.

Thankfully, the reaction against this monument has mostly been on the fringe. But there are some prominent conservative, and not just alt-right, voices who are upset about the monument removal. The entirety of their argument is that if the left wants it, it must be bad.

Lots of what the left wants is bad, but I think conservatives should avoid overreacting or even reacting without all the facts. Otherwise, we will fall into victimhood and grievance like we are already being accused.

I think much of confederate history should be preserved. It serves as a reminder of a part of our history and many of the famous Southern generals helped stitch the nation back together after it was over. We should be willing to highlight those efforts at unity after national trauma.

But let’s not defend the Liberty Monument just to be contrarian against the left. It was erected to celebrate, not commemorate, a violent effort to overthrow democracy by a group of Democrats.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: California Has Too Much Influence Over Local Values

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently made an interesting observation that will have many people thinking: California shouldn’t determine or define local values. Touching upon his February 2017 Founder’s letter “Building Global Community, ” Zuckerberg said his vision for the platform should be more open-minded, transparent, and multifarious. In an interview with Fast Company, he said the following:

We have come to this realization that a bunch of people sitting in a room in California is not going to be the best way to reflect all the local values that people have around the world. So we need to evolve the systems for collective decision making. It’s an interesting problem. There are certainly going to be a lot more global infrastructure and global enterprises going forward, there just hasn’t been anything at this scale yet.

California–especially Silicon Valley–shouldn’t sway every thing? Imagine that? (I say this as a California native who spent 21+ years growing up and living in the Golden State.) Zuckerberg is right: the incubator for social justice shouldn’t be determining affairs for the rest of the country, let alone the rest of the world. Which is why so many people in Flyover Country rejected Hillary Clinton and voted for Donald Trump in November.

In the Fast Company profile, Zuckerberg also touched upon free speech and click bait –which is well worth the read:

I still believe more strongly than ever that giving the most voice to the most people will be this positive force in society. But the thing is, it’s a work in progress. We talk about wanting to give everyone a voice, but then most people in the world don’t have access to the internet. So if you don’t have the tools to actually share your ideas with everyone, that’s not going to get you very far. We talk about giving people free speech but if they don’t actually, even in a country like the U.S., have the tools to be able to capture a video and share that easily, then there are limits in practice to what you can do. I just view this as a continual thing that every day we can come in and push the line further back on how many people have a voice and how much voice each person has, and we’re going to keep pushing on all of that. It just is this constant work. And at each point, you uncover new issues that you need to solve to get to the next level. Some people will say, oh you tolerate those issues. But the simpler explanation is that the community is evolving. We build new things, that surfaces new issues, we then go deal with those issues, and we keep going. Go back a few years, for example, and we were getting a lot of complaints about click bait. No one wants click bait. But our algorithms at that time were not specifically trained to be able to detect what click bait was. The key was to make tools so the community could tell us what was click bait, and we could factor that into the product. Now it’s not gone a hundred percent but it’s a much smaller problem than it used to be. Today, whether it’s information diversity or misinformation or building common ground, these are the next things that need to get worked on.

Facebook has received criticism for selective bias and targeting of conservatives and Republicans–a claim it’s working on remedying. Yes, there’s bias at times–but that shouldn’t deter conservatives from having an active presence there. The Resurgent’s very own Erick Erickson believes Facebook is a powerful tool our side should be using. (I couldn’t agree more!) Here’s an excerpt from Erick’s May 2016 post on the subject of Facebook’s Conservative Summit from last year:

I’m glad Facebook reached out. I’m glad Mark Zuckerberg was willing to give us face time. He did not have to. Hell, based on the complaints, he could have merely suppressed the story and few would have ever even known.

Instead, he brings in a bunch of conservatives and a few of them decide they have to grandstand while others even go out of their way to say they won’t go to the meeting and they won’t be pawns and Facebook needs to start spreading the wealth around to have a meaningful conversation. Like hell they do. No conservative should make affirmative action and shakedown demands on a private company. That is essentially what some have tried to do.

Although social media is heavily dominated by the Left and social justice platitudes, Zuckerberg, for example, believes every voice should have a say on his platform–including conservatives and Republicans voices. If we want our values to spread far and wide, we need to step outside our echo chamber and engage intelligently with others. Social media helps us bridge that gap!

Conservatives shouldn’t be afraid to have a presence on any of the popular social media platforms–whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. It’s good to see Zuckerberg recognizing the importance of social media hubs stepping outside of the Silicon Valley Bubble. What say you?